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The Grocery Wars Are Getting A Bit Silly

greg sleterSo Walmart wants to stock my refrigerator? Really?

There’s something off-putting and a bit creepy about a Walmart employee entering my home and putting away my groceries. I don’t even go into my mother’s refrigerator without first asking.

So I’ll take a pass.

Walmart’s latest endeavor to help time-starved consumers with one of life’s bigger chores goes a bit too far. Grocery shopping has not only been a family endeavor for me but one that is also personal. I appreciate the offer but I’ll choose my own fruits and vegetables, decide which steak I want and make those difficult decisions at the deli counter.

The current-day battle for the grocery dollars of Americans among the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Aldi, Kroger and numerous others is now bordering on the ridiculous. Add in the home meal delivery companies, and it’s near chaos. Well, not really, but you get the point.

While I’ll give retailers kudos for thinking outside the shopping cart when it comes to looking for ways to help consumers shop for their daily bread, many are once again taking things a bit too far.

For some, grocery shopping can be an annoyance, so making it simple would be prudent. This comes down to some basic factors. Keep the aisles stocked with product, keep prices as low as possible, maintain good quality and get the customer through the checkout quickly. Oh, and wrangle those carts so I don’t have to.

If retailers are looking for an example of doing grocery the right way, Aldi comes to mind. Stores that are not overwhelming, a focus on the basics, good prices and the use of the mighty 25-cent piece keeps their carts neatly stacked. Oh, and its checkout lines move quickly.

I’ll also give Costco an honorable mention since their focus on simplicity helps shoppers navigate their large stores.

So while retailers look to reinvent the grocery shopping experience, just keep it simple. Your customers will thank you, again and again, each week.